Venice Grand Prix
ICONIC EX PERIENCE | Autore Asia Bernardini
“Established in 2014, the Venice Hospitality Challenge has brilliantly surpassed its first five years and is cutting through our lagoon full sail, now reaching its VI edition. Racing boats with a minimum length of 60 feet in a city circuit is the peculiarity of this spectacular regatta” – emphasizes the Venice Yacht Club President Mirko Sguario, creator and organizer of the event – “and that is why I love the name of the Venice Grand Prix. This year will even feature a BMW car positioned in the San Marco Basin as a route buoy, something unusual for our city. Past editions have confirmed the validity of this event which brings the sailing elite to Venice every year and makes use of the support of prestigious sponsors and media partners.” The event started on Friday, October 18 at 6:30pm in San Marco Square at the Grancaffè Quadri with “Venice meets the skippers” followed by an invitation-only standing buffet in the evening at Ca’ Sagredo Hotel. A cannon shot kicked off the regatta at 1:30pm on Saturday, October 19. Marina Santelena was the fleet base, like always, while San Marco Basin was the route’s focal point, allowing the public to follow the spectacular competition from the shore. The VI Edition of the Venice Hospitality Challenge 2019 ended with both the Overall and Classe 1 Victory by Way of Life – The Gritti Palace, with Gaspar Vincec at the helm who repeated his recent success at Barcolana, reaching the finish line in less than an hour. Second place was well-deserved going to Golfo di Trieste – Hilton Molino Stucky with an entirely female crew captained by Francesca Clapcich.
Third place went to Idrusa – Palazzina Grassi with Olympian Paolo Montefusco at the helm. The awards ceremony took place at the Zattere in direct contact with the public at the Venice Yacht Pier quay at about 4:30pm. Although among the favorites, ArcaSGR – Ca’ Sagredo wasn’t able to come out victorious due to technical problems that prevented Furio Benusi from achieving the boat’s full potential. At the end of the event, an exclusive private party was held at the Hilton Molino Stucky Hotel in the evening to celebrate the crews and hotel partners, and to reinforce the spirit of elegance and style that characterizes this regatta, one of a kind worldwide.
At the latest edition of the Venice Hospitality Challenge, the Venice Yacht Club was not only the regatta promoter, but once again was the representative for the goal of ocean conservation with the One Ocean Foundation, an international project directly focused on the preservation of marine environments established in 2018 by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. “The nautical world is a magnificent one that is part of Venice’s history and must increasingly draw closer to the sea with great passion,” commented Luigi Brugnaro, Mayor of Venice. “We are doing our part. We organized the first boat show in the Arsenal last June and we have already set the dates for the 2020 edition from June 3 to 7. Our intention is to make this event one that is dedicated to all people of the sea, including those who love sailing which will have its own space. (…)” All that remains is to mark your calendars for the next edition, and wait for October 17, 2020!